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Why Meet with a Psychologist?

Adapting to changing circumstances can be challenging. During such times of transition, many people may consider seeing a psychologist. A life transition can be triggered by events beyond our control or the realization that we need to make significant changes to live more purposefully. Some life transitions, such as graduating from university, getting married, becoming a parent, advancing professionally, or beginning retirement, can bring value to our lives yet still come with unique stressors. Other life transitions, such as the loss of a relationship, a serious or chronic illness diagnosis, the death of a loved one, empty nesting, entering midlife, or aging, can raise questions concerning our future and leave us uncertain about how to best move forward. Psychologists can help people dealing with difficult life transitions respond more effectively.

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What to Expect During Your First Meeting?

We will discuss your reasons for seeking services at this particular time and your overall goals. I will ask you several questions about your history and current circumstances to help me better understand you and your situation. We will discuss potential avenues for achieving your goals, along with your preferences in psychotherapy. All services will be kept confidential and in accordance with the standards of practice established by the College of Alberta Psychologists.

What is Your Role in Psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is a collaborative endeavour that depends on active participation and sustained effort from both you and your psychologist. To ensure the best possible outcome, it is essential for you to provide input about your goals and feedback about the topics discussed. Keeping a notebook to track critical ideas addressed during meetings is also recommended. By working together, we can tailor services to your unique needs, leading to better results. In general, the more work you put into psychotherapy, the greater the benefits you take away from it.

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What “Growing Pains” come with Starting Psychotherapy?

Starting psychotherapy can be an uncomfortable process for some people. It may involve revisiting distressing aspects of your life, which can lead to unpleasant emotional reactions. In some instances, individuals may notice early on that their problems temporarily worsen before improving. This scenario can occur when increased awareness of stressful issues surpasses the effective implementation of strategies that aid their management. It is crucial to remember that these setbacks are often brief and part of creating hard-won change and personal growth. It is highly recommended that you discuss any adverse reactions with your psychologist to work through these reactions and continue toward achieving your goals.

What are the Benefits of Psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy encourages people to describe their lives in profound detail. It asks people to take stock of how they understand their struggles by exploring the events that shape their current situation. It strives to clarify the future people are hoping for and the future they fear. Psychotherapy assists people in considering their values more deeply as well as the beliefs they hold about the world and others. It shifts people's attention toward their emotional reactions, providing them with enhanced information for better understanding themselves and maintaining relationships. It explores meaning and meaninglessness and enables people to discover how to create an inspired yet realistic new vision of life in a changing world. It encourages people to notice how they make choices and how those choices influence who they are and the person they will become. Psychotherapy enables people to take back authority and stand their ground with conviction and empathy for others. It teaches people to trust their "gut" and create self-reflective awareness and communication habits. 

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“When we are tired, we are attacked by ideas we conquered long ago.”

- Friedrich Nietzsche

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